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Can J Vet Res. 1998 Jul;62(3):170-7.

Genomic and antigenic variations of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus major envelope GP5 glycoprotein.

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Centre de recherche en virologie, Institut Armand-Frappier, Université du Québec.


The objective of the present study was to evaluate the importance of genomic and antigenic variations which may have affected the major envelope glycoprotein GP5 of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) isolates responsible for outbreaks in Quebec and Ontario, in comparison with the modified-live U.S. vaccine strain (MLV) and the European prototype strain from Lelystad (LV). Nucleotide sequence analyses of the open reading frame (ORF)5 genes showed that all of the isolates studied were heterogenous, amino acid (aa) identities varied from 88 to 99% with the MLV strain, and between 51 and 54% with the LV strain. The aa substitutions were randomly scattered across the protein, although one region between residues 26 and 39 was found to correspond to a hypervariable region which involved 0 to 3 potential N-glycosylation sites. The ORF5 encoded products of 5 of these isolates, including the MLV and LV strains, were expressed in E. coli as recombinant proteins fused to the glutathione S-transferase (GST) protein and used to raise hyperimmune anti-ORF5 sera in rabbits. The reactivity patterns of strain-specific hyperimmune anti-ORF5 sera and a panel of 4 monoclonal antibodies directed against the ORF5 gene product of the Quebec IAF-Klop strain of PRRSV, indicated that GP5 of field isolates also underwent antigenic variations. The data suggest that neutralizing epitopes, independent of conformation and glycosylation, are also associated with antigenic variability of the GP5 of PRRSV.

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